8 Freelance Editing Tips for Beginning Freelancers

If you’re a veteran editor, chances are you’ve read quite a few of these freelance editing tips before and have figured out your own way of doing things. But if you’re new to the editorial game, there’s a lot to learn as you transition from an editor in an office environment to someone who works from home or wherever Wi-Fi is available. 

These best practices will help you get started and give yourself the best foundation possible for success as a freelance editor!

16 Tips for Beginner Video Production Freelancers – YouTube
1. Consistency is Key: Maintain consistent editing standards throughout your work to ensure high-quality results.
2. Build Strong Grammar Skills: Strengthen your grammar and language proficiency to enhance your editing capabilities.
3. Develop Attention to Detail: Cultivate a keen eye for detail to catch errors and inconsistencies in written content.
4. Provide Constructive Feedback: Offer valuable feedback to writers that helps them improve their work while maintaining a positive tone.
5. Time Management Matters: Efficiently manage your time by setting realistic deadlines and prioritizing tasks effectively.

1. Take Time To Put Together A Professional Resume

While you’re a new freelancer, your resume is probably one of the most important documents in your life. After all, without it, how will you land any jobs? 

It’s also worth noting that it’s very likely that potential clients won’t just take a chance on someone without doing some research first so if you want to impress them and increase your chances of booking more gigs, then make sure your skills are listed out clearly on this document.

As for what should be included in this document: You can include any relevant information about yourself (you did go to school for English and creative writing after all), including education, skills, and experience. 

Include anything else that might help someone understand why they should hire you over someone else (for example if they need an editor who has experience editing cookbooks). If possible try not to put personal information like birthdays or addresses on there though!

You don’t have to have a specific layout or design either – just make sure there’s enough space between sections so everything is easy to read!

Remember nothing screams “amateur” louder than pictures…

As a beginner in the world of freelance editing, it’s essential to grasp the foundational tips that can set you on the right path. From maintaining consistency to honing your proofreading skills, our comprehensive guide on freelance editing tips will provide you with valuable insights to kick-start your editing career.

2. Reach Out To Your Network For Referrals, Or Have A Strong Online Presence

When you’re just starting, it can be difficult to find clients. The fear of rejection is a very real thing. It’s okay to ask for help or assistance from your network they may have connections that could help you land some work, or know of another freelancer who needs editing services.

Recruitment of new clients is also easier when you have a digital presence online; having a website and/or social media accounts will make it easier for potential customers to find you.

3. Be Open To Learning And Expanding Your Skillset 

As a freelancer, you will be constantly learning new things. This applies not only to the technical tools and skills you need to do your job but also to the types of writing you edit and the editing work itself.

Here are some ways that staying up-to-date can help your freelance editing career:

Learn new editing software. You’ll be working with software daily, so you must be comfortable with it — even if this means learning new programs or finding other ways to use your existing ones.

Keep up with editing trends in academia and beyond. Being aware of changes in academic publishing and cultural trends can open up opportunities for expanding the type of work you do as an editor (e.g., increased demand for book reviews). 

It will also help inform how much time needs to be invested into different areas of content production processes like planning meetings or writing proposals because they offer different types of services from each other (like peer review vs article/book manuscript preparation).

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4. Set Up Accounts With Major Editing Platforms

The most obvious benefit of editing platforms is that they can help you get your name out there. Editing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr and Gigster connect freelancers with clients in a way that’s similar to how LinkedIn connects professionals. 

If you’re looking to grow your freelance business and gain exposure for your editing skills, these platforms are a great way to do so.

Other benefits include finding work, building a reputation, and building a network–which all contribute toward helping you earn more money as an editor!

5. Know When To Turn Down Work

While you should be open to new opportunities, it is important to know your limits and not take on work that you think might be out of your wheelhouse. This can help you avoid the stress of a project gone awry, or one that will be challenging for you. It’s also good etiquette with clients; if they are paying for your services, it’s important to deliver what they expect from them.

It’s also important to research the client before agreeing to take on their project. If a client has a bad reputation in the industry, it could be best not to take them on as a client because their other projects may have been marked by delays or poor quality results. 

For example, if someone wants an editor who specializes in academic writing but has no relevant experience themselves (yet), then finding a different editor would likely result in better service overall between both parties involved throughout this process (i..e., less time spent waiting around).

6. Make Sure You Understand The Scope Of A Project Before Accepting It

There are a few things you should be sure to do before accepting a project. The first is to make sure that the scope of the project is clear. If you’re not sure what’s being asked, ask for clarification. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Second, don’t be afraid to ask questions if something isn’t completely clear or doesn’t seem right. 

If someone wants you to edit an essay about how much they love their mother and her cooking (and presumably all moms), but there are no citations listed and they want it in three days that might be a sign that something is wrong with this picture (or at least that we need some more details).

Thirdly, if something doesn’t make sense because there wasn’t enough information provided by your client or editor/client relationship still feels off even after talking through everything together then say so! 

When starting as a freelancer it’s important not only for yourself but also for your clients’ sake that everyone understands exactly what needs to be done for both parties involved to get great results from working together successfully on whatever projects come up during this stage of business relationships being formed between them both professionally speaking.”

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7. Do Your Best With Every Piece Of Work You Take On, Even If It Falls Outside Your Skillset

You must do your best with every piece of work you take on, even if the project is outside your skillset. You’ll learn something new and build up your skillset, which will make it easier for you to get more work in the future. 

Even if the project is not paid well or doesn’t have much potential for future business, at least it will teach you something about yourself as a professional.

It’s generally better than turning down jobs because they don’t fit into a narrow definition of what people think editors do; this will only limit your opportunities and prevent you from growing as a professional.

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8. Communicate Clearly And Promptly With Your Clients

A client needs to know that if they email you on a Monday morning asking for something by Wednesday, you’ll be able to do it. How quickly can you turn around the job? If there’s some back-and-forth about changes, how long will it take? What kind of edits are acceptable? 

Do they want revisions done in Word or Google Docs? And of course: how much do they pay per hour?

You can’t predict every situation a client will throw at you (or any other curveball), but it’s important to be clear about your working hours and availability so both parties understand what is and isn’t possible. 

You might even want to include a rundown of past jobs completed so clients can see what types of work have been done before though this depends on whether or not your previous clients are willing to share their experiences with others!

Keep learning! Whether this means going back to school, attending conferences, or learning new skills on your own through books, podcasts, and videos, if you want to be successful and competitive in the world of freelance editing, you need to keep working at it.

As a new freelancer, it can be tempting to think that there’s nothing left for you to learn…but that’s simply not true! There are tons of ways you can continue your education even once you’ve started working as an editor. Here are some ideas:

Go back to school. If you’re looking for a more formalized way of learning about editing, consider going back to college or university and taking courses in editing. This will allow you to meet other editors and network with them in person, which can help make connections that could lead to more work down the road.

Attend conferences or workshops about editing (or find modalities for online learning). Conferences are great places for learning things like how publishing houses do business, how authors interact with their editors (and vice versa), what kinds of contracts get signed between publishing houses and authors/editors/agents the list goes on! 

You’ll also get access to some excellent networking opportunities at conferences as well as valuable information from experienced professionals who know what they’re talking about when it comes time for negotiation with clients or publishers later on down the line when things start getting serious.”

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I hope these tips have given you an idea of what it’s like to be a freelance editor. The coolest part about freelance editing is that you can take it wherever you go, and if you ever get tired of it, you can always switch things up! 

Try out a new genre or change your focus from one topic to another. It’s totally up to you how much work and effort you want to put into making this job successful for yourself and the great news is that there are tons of resources available to help.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to further enhance your knowledge on freelance editing and related topics:

Ways to Get Better at Freelance Editing: Discover practical strategies and tips to enhance your freelance editing skills and improve the quality of your work.

Freelancer Tips for Beginners: If you’re new to freelancing, this guide provides valuable advice to help you navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with the freelance lifestyle.

How to Start an Editing Business: If you’re considering turning your editing skills into a business, this resource offers insights into launching and growing a successful editing venture.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Is A Freelance Editor?

A freelance editor is someone who works remotely, on a contract basis. Freelancers typically take on projects from editors and content creators who need help with their writing, or from companies that need help with their content.

How Do I Become A Freelance Editor?

The first step toward becoming a freelance editor is to get experience as an assistant editor or assistant proofreader. In this position, you’ll work directly with the editors and proofreaders at your company to learn about their workflow and how they approach projects. 

You’ll also gain valuable skills in copyediting and proofreading, which will help you develop your style as an editor.

Once you’ve gained some experience as an assistant, it’s time to start looking for your first freelancing gigs. 

You can find jobs by reaching out to companies directly via email or LinkedIn message; posting on job boards like Upwork or Problogger; or reaching out through social media channels like Twitter or Facebook groups devoted to freelancers in your area of expertise (for example: “Freelance Editors in Boston”).

How Do I Get Started?

To start your editing career, you will need to find clients. Your best bets are to look for them on social media or to ask friends and family if they know of anyone who might need your services.

What Should I Charge?

When it comes to pricing, you have a few options:

Per-word rate: You can charge per word, which is a very common pricing model for editing and proofreading jobs. This means that the length of the document does not factor into the price, but rather only the number of words in the document.

Hourly rate: You can also charge an hourly rate, which will allow you to cover expenses related to production costs (such as software or website hosting), as well as overhead costs (like office space). 

Hourly rates are often used by professionals like lawyers or accountants who bill by the hour. Hourly rates may also be appropriate if an editor has more experience than usual with a certain industry or type of project.

Project fee: If you are working with an organization like an NGO (non-governmental organization), they may prefer to pay a project fee upfront before they receive their deliverable

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